In Dalcroze Eurhythmics, music is experienced through movement – the teaching and learning process engages body, mind and emotion.
Contemporary research demonstrates that whole-body movement is an effective way to enhance musicianship, improve co-ordination and concentration, and develop the skills needed to be a good performer.
Studying physically, in a group setting, increases confidence, refines the ability to sense and analyse music, and develops auditory memory, communication, expression, and creativity.
While the focus is on music, the benefits can be transferred to all arts in which movement plays a role, including dance, acting, musical theatre, and circus. It also enlivens our understanding of the plastic and static arts, such as painting and sculpture.
There are three branches of Dalcroze Eurhythmics. Together they aim at an integrated experience, and understanding, of music.
Rhythmics: Exploring the elements of music by experiencing music-movement relationships, usually in a large space and in a group. This is a physically active and social way to experience and learn about music.
Ear Training: Developing aural skills and know-how to do with pitch, intervals, scales and harmony. This is also done through movement and in a group, but emphasises the voice and singing. Jaques-Dalcroze called this part of the method solfège rythmique.
Improvisation: Working on expression and communication for performance or teaching purposes. Improvisation in Dalcroze may be vocal, instrumental, or in movement. Students learn how to incite and entrain movement through music-making that focuses attention on specific musical elements.